There are mixed opinions regarding the question, “are bananas good or bad for weight loss?”
One reason for the mixed opinions regarding bananas’ ability to promote weight loss is that there aren’t a lot of studies on the subject matter. That has left room for people to come up with their own opinions on whether or not bananas are good for weight loss, and sometimes these opinions contrast.
Another cause of dispute about banana’s ability to be good for weight loss is their sugar content. There is a belief that because of banana’s sugar content, bananas can’t be good for weight loss.
Breaking Through The Confusion
Now it is true that bananas have sugar content, but so does every other fruit, and it seems that nature knows what amount of sugar to put into its foods because natural foods such as fruits have sugar for the most part in moderate amounts.
When health experts advise against eating sugary foods and how they can cause obesity, they are not referring to natural foods, which for the most part are weight loss friendly and healthy.
They are referring to man-made or processed foods that have a lot of added sugar to enhance the taste of food.
With its sugar content and all of its other contents combined, the average medium-size banana has about 100 calories, which is a rather conservative amount of calories when you think about how filling and what a great source of energy a banana can be.
Therefore, it can be said that bananas have the potential to help with weight loss because they can fill you up and provide you energy at relatively little calorie intake.
Now just because bananas have the potential to help with weight loss does not mean that eating bananas will guarantee weight loss because weight loss is based on your overall diet being one where you’re taking in fewer calories than you’re burning.
So only if bananas are helping you to moderate your caloric intake so that your overall diet is one where you’re taking in fewer calories than you’re burning can it be said that bananas are helping you lose weight.
What Allows Bananas Filling But Yet Low In Calories?
Above, it was stated that bananas have the potential to help with weight loss because bananas are filling and, at the same time, are low in calories.
Bananas ability to be filling but low in calories can be explained in 3 reasons:
1. High Water Content
Water can be very filling to consume, and as you probably already know, water has no calories. Bananas are made up of 74 percent water.
2. Fiber Content
Fiber can also be very filling to consume, and fiber has virtually no calories. The average medium-sized banana contains about 3 grams of fiber.
3. Content That Has Calories Are Found In Either Moderate or Minuscule Amounts
Not all the contents of bananas have no or virtually no calories like banana’s water and fiber content. Bananas also contain starch which can have up to 2 to 4 calories per gram, protein which has calories 4 per gram, sugar which has calories 4 per gram, and fat which has calories 9 per gram. However, each of these four contents are found in either minuscule or moderate amounts in bananas, and so overall bananas are a low calorie food.
Provide Energy At Relatively Little Calorie Expense
Bananas are not just potentially great for weight loss because they fill you up at relatively little calorie expense. They also can be great for weight loss because they provide longer-lasting energy at relatively little calorie expense.
This ability that bananas have to provide energy at minimal calorie expense is important because when you’re on a weight loss diet, you don’t want to be losing weight at the expense of you being tired all the time.
You still want to have plenty of energy while you’re losing weight.
How Are Bananas Able to Provide Longer-Lasting Energy and Yet Be Low in Calories?
Calories are simply units of energy.
When the body takes in or consumes too much calories (or energy), the leftover energy will be stored as fat that the body will burn in the future when it needs energy.
All fat is stored energy due to excess calories or energy consumption.
As mentioned earlier, the average medium-size banana (7-7/8inches) has about 105 calories.
105 calories is enough energy to energize the body, but not enough to where there should be energy left over that could be converted into fat.
Much of the energy that bananas provide is longer lasting energy, and this has to do with bananas sugar and fiber content. You see bulk up the energy or calories that bananas provide comes for their sugar content. Of the 105 calories of energy that a banana provides about 53 percent comes from it sugar content. Most of it or 53 percent of it comes from its sugar content
Sugar is a simple carb meaning it’s easy for the body to break it down.
Fiber is a complex carb that is hard for the body to break down which is why fiber travels through the body largely intact.
This is also why fiber has virtually no calories because it is hard for the body to break down fiber and extract energy from it.
Now not only is fiber hard for the body to break down, but when sugar and fiber are eaten together, the fiber will slow down your body’s ability to break down and extract energy out of the sugar content.
Therefore, the energy that the sugar provides is spread out over a longer period of time.
That is the secret to why bananas can provide long-lasting energy. Again, the banana’s fiber content slows down the breaking down of the banana’s sugar content, so the energy that comes from the sugar content lasts longer.
Bananas also have resistant starch, which is similar to fiber in that it’s a complex carb. The greener the banana, the more resistant starch it has, but as bananas start to ripen, their resistant starch content becomes less and less.
Bananas have 105 calories which is not enough to be fattening. But enough energy to give the body an energy buzz. Much of the energy that bananas provide is spread out due the fact that much of energy that bananas provide come from there sugar content, and banana’s fiber content slows down the body’s ability to break down the sugar content so the energy from sugar last longer.
Weight Loss Friendly & Nutritious
Bananas are not just weight loss-friendly; they are also a source of some very important nutrients. Which is important because, on a weight loss diet, you want to be losing weight while at the same time getting proper nutrition. Nutrients found in sizable quantities in bananas include:
(One Medium Size (7-7/8inches) Banana Contains:)
•20 percent of the daily recommended intake Vitamin B6
•12 percent of the daily recommended intake Pottasium (422mg)
•12 percent of the daily recommended intake Fiber (3.1g) The benefits associated with vitamin fiber include: great for heart health (fiber intake has been shown to improve heart health), great for weight loss (can help with weight loss).
•17 percent of the daily recommended intake Vitamin C The benefits associated with vitamin c include: great for skin (helps boost and maintain collagen in the skin), strong antioxidant (helps fight against diseases such as heart disease and cancer).
•8 percent of the daily recommended intake Magnesium
Although there are not a lot of studies that measure bananas as a whole ability to create weight loss, there are studies that show a link or correlation between various contents found in bananas and weight loss.
• Fiber: As mentioned above, one of the things that make bananas so weight loss friendly is their fiber content, and there are studies that show fiber consumption has an inverse relationship with body weight (1)(2)(3).
• Water: As stated earlier, bananas being weight loss-friendly has a lot to do with their high water concentration. Water is filling and has no calories, and therefore, foods with a high water concentration tend to be filling and low in calories, making them weight loss friendly. Bananas are 83 percent water.
There are studies that show that there is a relationship between water consumption and weight loss. Now keep in mind many of these studies are based on participants drinking water not getting the water from food sources like bananas, but these studies to identify a connection between water consumption and weight loss (4)(5)(6).
Do not overeat bananas; not only could you end up taking in certain nutrients in excessive quantities, which is not healthy, but you wind up taking in too many calories through your banana consumption.
Also, get health benefits of these various foods:
Great Food For Exercise
The fact that bananas can be filling and provide long-lasting at little calorie expense makes them a great exercise. So if you are working out to lose weight or working out or for other health reasons, bananas can be a great food to eat. To learn more about how bananas can help with exercise, click here: